Jobs, women and stress | Girlfriend advice on taking care of ourselves

My girlfriend’s husband has been out of work for over a year.

GirlfriendsHe’s explored options, networked, interviewed and all the things that you’re supposed to do when you’re looking for a job. It’s a stressful situation – but not just for him.

Research shows that “children look to women for tending, men look to women for tending and women look to women for tending.” (The Tending Instinct, by Shelley E. Taylor) So, in times of stress, women generally bear the burden of stress for our families and even our friends. Women’s stress is impacting our health, like this report from Reuters:

Those (women) reporting high levels of job strain and little work-related social support appear to be at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes, according to a new study.

My girlfriend is stressed and I get the feeling that a lot of us are too. As a girlfriend, I want to help my friends, right? So I did a little research on women and stress and found this information that offered some great insight and information:

What are some early signs of stress?

Stress can take on many different forms, and can contribute to symptoms of illness. Common symptoms include headache, sleep disorders, difficulty concentrating, short-temper, upset stomach, job dissatisfaction, low morale, depression, and anxiety.

How do women tend to react to stress?

We all deal with stressful things like traffic, arguments with spouses, and job problems. Some researchers think that women handle stress in a unique way: we tend and befriend.

  • Tend : women protect and care for their children
  • Befriend : women seek out and receive social support

During stress, women tend to care for their children and find support from their female friends. Women’s bodies make chemicals that are believed to promote these responses. One of these chemicals is oxytocin (ahk-see-toe-sin), which has a calming effect during stress. This is the same chemical released during childbirth and found at higher levels in breastfeeding mothers.

Are you stressed? How are you handling it? Are you seeing the support of your girlfriends?

I feel honored that my girlfriend is opening up to me about her stress. I’m glad she knows that I care and I’ll be here for her.

Are you there for your friends? How can you help them handle their stress and when should you reach out to them?

Be there for your friends and offer your support. And share how it goes here on the Girlfriendology community so we can all inspire each other. Life really is better together with your girlfriends!

p.s. If you’re in Cincinnati and are, or know someone who is, looking for a job, please tell them about this event:

JOB SEEKER WORKSHOP – January 12, 19, 26; 7:00-8:30pm Free – We’ll have HR experts share their wisdom on how to successfully find a job. Two locations: Crossroads, 3500 Madison Road, Oakley/Cincinnati 45209 and Mason Heights Annex 200 Northcrest Drive Mason, OH 45040

More Girlfriendology blogs to inspire us to be a better friend:

p.s. And … be a friend to Girlfriendology! Share this blog with your girlfriends by clicking the Facebook LIKE button below and also, when you’re on our Facebook page, SHARE IT WITH YOUR GIRLFRIENDS. (Please?!) Thanks girlfriend!


  1. says

    For me, stress leads to depression. Friends can be a big help when getting through stressful times. Aside from leaning on bloggy friends, I try to dive into my Faith to handle stress. It helps.

  2. says

    Wow, I think I may know this girlfriend of yours…or at least someone with a very similar situation. For me, when this kind of stress hits it is especially hard when it is cold and dark outside. Just making a point to get out and be around positive people can do wonders for a stressed and depressed attitude! I was at a great party on Friday night with some girlfriends that I don’t socialize with often enough and left feeling great.


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